DPRP's Gert Hulshof
Transatlantic's Roine Stolt
I spoke with Roine Stolt on 20th May in the afternoon preceding the Transatlantic concert in 013, Tilburg. The conversation was rather short. So we spoke only about concerts and more specific the Transatlantic tour that nearly was finished.
GERT: Welcome Roine and thanks for this short interview.
ROINE: Youíre welcome.
GERT: The Tour has been going on for three for weeks now? Starting in mid April?
ROINE: Yes, something like that, actually we have done about 20 shows now. We've just three shows left and we're almost done.
GERT: What's like touring and performing again after so long with the other guys of Transatlantic.
ROINE: It feels good, you know the considering everything. The length of the tour. The whole presentation, the way the band sounds like, I feel like it is an improvement. At least that is what my feeing is compared to the tour which we did in 2001.
In Europe but America as well. You know back then everyone was so involved in their own band and Transatlantic was put together more as a side project. Of course we didnít know what to expect. I mean we did an album and we did not know what would be the turn out for the shows. It was a bit of a shock I think, this time we knew a little bit more about what to expect. And we did go to rehearse in America before we did our first show. The first show we did in Los Angeles, the first show was actually quite good. So far the tour has been good, great crew, big crew.
GERT: With only three shows to go what could go wrong?
ROINE: There is always something that can go wrong you know. So far there has been no problem, however, the only show I think it was in Berlin the show for at least the first set was chaos soundwise. The sound was so loud that we came to a point, where we could not hear anything, and well the only thing you could hear on stage was a beat going on. You can hear a bass but not what he is playing, you could hear a keyboard but not the notes being played, you could hear vocals but not the singing and it all becomes sort of a blur of sound - a massive wall of sound without any definition at all. I think it was the first set - at that time we had Mike set up behind the rest of the band, and that didnít work out - that didnít work out at all. We need the cues Mike gives you know. You have the classic Transatlantic set up with Mike on one side and Neal on the other side. Me and Pete in between. So we can all see each other. We all need that.
GERT: So real interaction between all of you?
ROINE: Yeah for the cues - and so for the Berlin show we had the drums behind us - it just felt so weird you know. And for some reason it also became louder. We actually moved the drum riser more to the front between the two sets. The second set was OK but the first just didnít feel right. That was the only show so far that did not feel good, but apart from that every show was good.
GERT: In preparing for this interview I listened to all the Transatlantic album's consecutively and I noticed a more consistent sound on Whirlwind - it sounds more a band playing.
ROINE: Oh yeah, a lot has been improving from back when we recorded SMPT and Bridge Then we would more just make a mix, and bits and pieces where we wanted changes were changed and that was it basically. There is a lot more communication now, and a its a different time, we now send bits and pieces to each other and we could do a mix and a few hours later we could go "I like this" and "I donít like that" - Pan it some more or take off a bit of treble and we would change and in a couple of hours could hear it again. Much faster.
GERT: You get a better sound that way?
ROINE: Yes I think its more detailed and more precice and besides that it felt good to get back and record together, you couldnít really feel the nine years that had passed. Nine years seems like a long time but my oldest son who is with us on tour now, heís twenty, and he was ten or eleven at the time. In that way you can sense the nine years but once we got into a room and started to rehearse and started talking about songs it felt almost like yesterday.
GERT: [I want to do a little twist in the conversation and get The Flower kings involved.] How about plans to create music with The Flower Kings?
ROINE: Sure I have plans to record with The Flower Kings again, but we all thought we needed time away from The Flower Kings. It had come to a point with The Flower Kings where people expected us to play certain song at live shows. And when albums came out there was always somebody that would say it sounds similar to this or that or I have heard that a dozen times before. So we all - Jonas, me Tomas - thought we needed this break. I mean when I write a song I write it the way I know the people I work with can play it. So you need to be around other people to change. When you really want to change, you need to be around others, every artist will come to this point where people think it is all the same, look at Bruce Springsteen he is been doing it since the seventies you know.
GERT: Looking at compositions, it kinda seems to me the Whirlwind is more of a group effort, more than the first two albums?
ROINE: Well yes it is more a group thing, everyone would come up with suggestions and we all go over it and then put all of it together The album is 12 pieces of music, but in fact is more like 50 or 60 different pieces of music patched together into these songs. In that sense it is more of a group effort and thatís more important also in a psychological sense that everybody feels more involved and more proud - that sort of thing. Instead of on the first album where all of the above is more or less a Neal Morse song with a little Pete Trewavas put in. Or Duel with the Devil which is basically Neal and me and the others playing.
GERT: Now I have a question for you about a set of shows you did a few years back - Brimstone Circus. Is this ever going to happen again?
ROINE: It might happen again, at that time it was special because Hasse the vocalist in The Flower Kings needed to do his job, him being the only one in The Flower Kings who had a regular job. He could not get time off to do a tour, but the rest of us wanted to play. We then put on a show with The Instrumental Flower Kings also the first time with Marcus Lillequist. We played small audiences, we liked it but it was special - maybe we will do it again sometime.
GERT: OK Roine, thanks for the interview and play a good show tonight.
ROINE: Thank you was my pleasure - have fun tonight.
Interview for DPRP by Gert Hulshof
Live Photographs by Joris Donkel
Roine Stolt - MySpace
Transatlantic Official Website
The Flowerkings - Official Website
The Flowerkings - MySpace
DPRP Interview with Roine Stolt in 2006 by Dave Baird
DPRP Interview with Roine Stolt in 2007 by Martien Koolen
DPRP Interview with Roine Stolt in Feb 2010 by Dave Baird
DPRP Concert Review: Transatlantic ~ May 2010
DPRP Review: Transatlantic - The Whirlwind (2009)